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Botox Banned for Under 18-Year Olds in the UK

Updated: Nov 18, 2021

Ministers are banning under 18-year-olds from having Botox procedures after learning that more than 41,000 operations were carried out on patients in this age group last year. Before her recent move to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Nadine Dorries, in her role as Health Minister, said that the age of the patient must be verified in future before any cosmetic enhancements take place. Botox is known to be a safe cosmetic procedure is carried out by certified professionals. Botox, when used as an aesthetics treatment, is said to reduce the signs of ageing, something minors are not likely to have to worry about.


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From October 1st, any practitioner who doesn’t verify the age of the person they are treating will face prosecution. But there will be exemptions for under 18s who need the procedure for medical reasons. In these cases, a doctor must approve the treatment, and it should be administered by a doctor, a nurse, a pharmacist, or a dentist.


The increase in the number of treatments being carried out on this younger age group has been attributed to teens being influenced by the TV programme Love Island. Dorries said the ban aims to protect young people from being pressured into seeking to achieve the “unrealistic” body images they see in celebrities.

Dorries also associates the Botox boom with the influence of social media, specifically Instagram. It’s thought that many young teens who are requesting Botox want fillers to have high cheekbones, full lips, and cat-like eyes so that they can look like the celebrities they follow on social media.


Dorries said that she has used Botox in the past and never saw any harm in it, though she’s never used it extensively. She stated that when individuals reach a certain age, it’s reasonable to try and hold back the years.


But the former Health Minister is worried about the many people who have been negatively affected by botched cosmetic procedures. Not only have they been affected physically, but their emotions and mental health have also been impacted.


The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is reported to be working closely with organisations to assess the need for better and stricter standards and safeguards around cosmetic procedures that can be harmful to individuals’ health.


“Tweakments” is the term used when a teenager undergoes a cosmetic procedure. TV shows like Love Island and Keeping Up with The Kardashians are seen to be influential in driving the interest in cosmetic procedures because most of the participants in the shows display evidence of having had work done on them.


Save Face, a campaign group, received 2,083 complaints about botched procedures in 2020. This was 217 more compared to 2016. If a procedure is not carried out correctly, the risks that can occur include blindness or even death of the tissue where it is injected or necrosis. In extreme cases, patients who’ve had botched procedures have had to have body parts amputated to keep the necrosis from spreading to unaffected areas.


The ban on cosmetic procedures for the under-18s follows campaigning by Tory MP Laura Trott. She said that dangerous and unnecessary non-medical procedures carried out on children should be stopped.

According to estimates from Trott’s group, more than 100,000 under-16s have had such cosmetic treatments and operations.


Dorries said that being bombarded with ads and images on social media showing unrealistic bodies puts pressure on people. She said that in a recent poll, 80 per cent of girls and young women have considered altering their looks with surgical procedures to improve their self-confidence. She said that young men also face the same pressure.


The then Health Minister went on to say that these statistics are deeply depressing.

Another shocking piece of information revealed by the DHSC is that there is currently no age restriction on who can have the procedures. Dorries said that it is not right that children can be so exposed to potentially harmful non-medical interventions.


Importance of Getting Procedures Administered by Professionals

In recent years, the market for fillers has expanded enormously, with demand surging even during the pandemic. According to experts, this is because lockdowns gave people more time to consider their appearance.


But there is still worry about the beauty filler industry because it remains largely unregulated. When patients are “doctor shopping”, they tend to be looking for the cheapest options available.


The biggest risk is that the cheapest doctors are more likely to botch the procedure either through inexperience or through the use of poor quality products, which can trigger side effects that can put the patient’s life at risk. Poorly effected procedures can lead to lumps, nodules, infection, and inflammation, as well as scars, pain, permanent blindness, and sometimes even death.


Save Face has exclusive data on which practitioners are accredited to perform these non-surgical cosmetic procedures.


Hannah Blair, who works in the NHS, had a harrowing experience with bad fillers. She came across a service on Instagram which looked good, the results were convincing, and the services were among the cheapest she had seen. Because many salons were closed during the lockdown, she was prompted to book an appointment with this company. But once the procedure was carried out, Hannah experienced lumps, bruising, and swelling in the affected area. When she tried to contact the company to raise her concerns, she received no reply.


While fillers can be bought over the counter in the UK and can be injected by anyone, it’s critical that patients ensure that the person administering them is a certified doctor, nurse, or dentist.


The MP says that everyone has the right to choose to do what they wish to their bodies but warns that they should do it with caution, not least because of the dangers present if fillers aren’t administered properly.


Certified Professionals

So how do you know whether an aesthetic clinic is legitimate? Carrying out research beforehand is a great start. Make sure the company has a credible website and walks you through the treatment process, clearly explaining what will happen and what possible side effects there might be. It’s also ideal if you can speak to someone you know who has received treatment from the clinic.


At Sculpt n Lift - Aesthetics Kent, we make sure that you receive nothing less than the best professional service. All our practitioners are fully trained and highly experienced in their field. As well as fillers, we also offer facelifts, semi-permanent eyebrows, non-surgical liposuction, vitamin injections, and more.


Our clinic will ensure you have a calm and relaxing experience with the highest quality products and services. We also promise attentive aftercare to ensure you’re happy with the results of your procedure and to make you the best you can be.


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